Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s ihub has given NHS Board members from across Scotland the opportunity to share knowledge and make meaningful connections through a series of online, interactive sessions.

The Quality Improvement (QI) for NHS Board Members team began facilitating web-conferencing in October 2017 to bring Board members together in a way that is both time and cost effective for them. Since the start of the web-conferences, 16 Board members – a mix of executive and non-executive- have taken part and made connections Scotland-wide that would have otherwise required travel and time away from work responsibilities and family.

Eugene Clarke, Fife NHS Board said:

“It has stimulated a number of ideas about what I could perhaps bring to my own Board and it is such an easy system of putting people in touch with each other”.

Participants range from locations in Shetland down to the Borders and are able to share their experiences and guidance to those in similar settings despite being separated by great distances. This virtual connection offers Board members with unforgiving schedules the chance to take part in sessions from a location that is suitable to them. By committing to small amounts of pre-scheduled time over the course of a few weeks, Board members are able to informally work through often complex problems from the comfort of their work space, at home or even abroad.

Claire Pearce, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Acute Services, NHS Borders:

“It’s given me confidence in terms of my own thinking as you can be more honest in a small-select group of your own peers and there’s a real energy from participants to present themselves and take ownership of our own learning.

It’s been a great opportunity of getting new ideas – if it is working in Tayside or Orkney it might work in Borders.”

The QI team use a range of techniques to facilitate sessions that cover issues of importance to the Board members to ensure a good knowledge sharing platform. The sessions are interactive, requiring participants to engage with each other through both phone and on screen tools, giving them ability to lead parts of the session while building confidence in using the technology.

Some of the topics covered thus far include a culture of openness, double loop learning and performance and quality interconnections.

Heather Shearer, Board and Partnerships QI Development Lead who leads on this work says:

“These pioneer Board Members have created meaningful conversations where they give and receive practical, experience-based insights.”

If you are currently a Board member in Scotland and interested in joining the next Cohort, it would be great to hear from you. Equally if you would simply like to know more about our programme of work, please contact us at